Point Reyes to SF backpack 2016-05

Memorial Day weekend I backpacked from Point Reyes to San Francisco, in part along segment 9 of the American Discovery Trail (ADT), but with several side trips and alternate routes.

I took Amtrak, AC Transit, Golden Gate Transit, and Marin Stagecoach to Bear Valley Visitor Center on Friday, then walked in to the Point Reyes Hostel along the Wittenberg, Skyline, and Laguna trails. I enjoyed the night there, enjoying the quiet. This is the only hostel I know of with no cell phone service and no WiFi. Not to mention berries just ripening nearby.


Saturday I walked out on the Coast Trail, north a bit to Limantour Beach, waded into the surf, and then proceeded south along the the Coast Trail and ADT route. At Bear Valley I stuck to the Coast Trail rather than ADT, and walked out to Wildcat Camp for lunch. Then inland along the Stewart and Greenpicker trails, down to Olema Valley Trail to the Randall Trail, up onto Bolinas Ridge and then south. This day I saw far more reptiles, lizards and snakes, than I usually see along the trail. It is strange to see the redwood forest up on top of the ridge when it doesn’t really exist lower down. I camped in a brushy spot with a view of Stinson Beach and the ocean beyond.

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Escalante adventures

Many months later I am finally getting around to posting on my March trip to the Escalante area. Sometimes I have to choose between documenting my trips, and taking another trip, but in this case it relates to being very busy with work.

Joe & animals & portrait rock 2

As we have done three times now, Joe Herbst and I headed to the Escalante area for spring break, March 20-26. We had Sassy the horse, for Joe, and Ruby the mule for me, plus the dogs. We camped the same place above Harris Wash that we’d camped five years ago, an out-of-the-way place with good views in all directions. The beginning of the weeks saw really high winds, high enough to essentially prevent sleep, and wild skies with a bit of rain. Fortunately our camp site has stable clay and rock soil, so there wasn’t any blowing sand and dust that we’d have had if we down in the washes.

We did three day rides out from camp,one in the northern part of 25-Mile Wash including a hoodoo maze of Entrada(?) sandstone, and one in the badlands south of Harris Wash and east of our camp. If not for the date tags on photos, I’d probably not even remember that much. All good rides, with storms playing about overhead and on the horizon but we got wet only once. Joe has spent a lot of time riding this area, so he knows a lot of the destinations, but likes to put them together in different ways.

One day we rode down into the upper canyon of 25-Mile wash, with which Joe was mightily impressed, not having gone that far before. The canyon gradually drops below a rimrock and then deepens impressively. 25-Mile goes through several canyons, and the lower ones may or may not be rideable. I backpacked 25-Miles years ago (1993?), but I wasn’t looking with horse-eyes back then so I’m not sure, but hopefully we will get a chance to try it in some future year.

We moved our camp to 25-Mile Wash, where a branch of the Egypt road comes down to a corral, and did a short exploratory ride in the upper wash area.

Joe at Egypt.jpgThe final riding day we went out to Egypt. I’ve been here before, several times, but Joe never had. It is miles out through the badlands, in and out of washes, and through the piñon-juniper forest, to the edge of the world, where the plateau drops off into the Escalante Canyons. It may be the most spectacular view anywhere in the Escalante area. The origin of the Egypt appellation is fuzzy, I had always thought that it referred to the huge blocks of sandstone that tumble down below the rim, but checking place names later it seems to be a more general reference to the feel of the whole area. We spent a lot of time on the rim just looking, and speculating about the names and nature of the Henry Mountains to the northeast, and the bison herd, and wondering what areas of the canyons below and across from us could be ridden, and which only hiked, and which neither. The Henry’s had some new snow on them from the storms of the last few days. Coming back, we go spectacular views down into the side canyons of Harris Wash.

Given that I only ride with Joe once a year, and these multiple ride trips less often than that, I’m not in shape for all-day rides. Instead, we usually ride for 3-4 hours, though we did one 6 hour day. That leaves plenty of time for reading, eating, sky watching, napping, and most important, story telling. Joe and I have been doing things together since sixth or seventh grade, though with some long gaps when we lost touch, so we have a wealth of stories to tell. As an advantage to being older now, with gradually decreasing memory, we don’t remember which stories we have told and which not, so we tell them again. I think sometimes the details get fitted a bit to the current situation rather than the actual facts, but with no one there to contradict, the stories flow. Joe puts up a pretty good kitchen, so I eat way better on these trips than I ever do backpacking, or even than I did when I used to car camp.

Photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/allisondan/albums/72157667403758631


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Theatre Winter 2015-2016

I’m still keeping brief entries in Day One, but the application has still not added back the publishing capability, so I don’t have an easy way of sharing these. The links to each play will, sooner or later, expire.


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Theatre Fall 2015

Eleven plays this season. King Lear, my first play at California Shakespeare Theatre in Orinda, was quite well done. Hard to pick a favorite, as there were so many good ones and no bad ones, but I think Adoration of Dora, by KOLT Run Creations, was probably the best just because it was so different from the way plays are usually staged, in a very small space with a few props standing in for stage settings.


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Summer 2015 Newsletter

Summer 2015 Newsletter

reflection North Fork of Middle Fork

reflection North Fork of Middle Fork

I got in two good backpacks this summer, walking the American Discovery Trail from the Truckee River nearly to Auburn. The trail, largely but not entirely coincident with the Western States / Tevis Cup trail, climbs through Squaw Valley to the Sierra crest near Granite Chief, then descends along ridges and through canyons of the Middle Fork of the American River. Though some of the trail is along roads, some is also in remarkably rugged and remote backcountry.

The second backpack was in the Granite Chief Wilderness, mostly to do trail maintenance along the Pacific Crest Trail. The ridge route has become brushed in again in several places, and I was able to clear about 150 feet of the worst, though that leaves quite a bit left to do. Several days into the trip I was going down to the springs in the North Fork Blackwood Creek to resupply with water, when I stepped on a sharp rock on the outside edge of my right foot, and experienced a great deal of pain. I walked out, slowly, and headed home, and when it did not feel OK after two days of rest, went in to get it x-rayed. My fifth metatarsal was fractured, and that ended my backpacking for a while. I have been trying a lighter weight hiking shoe, and mostly enjoyed the efficiency, but have to now admit to myself that they are too lightweight for the type of backpacking I do. So I’ll get a moderate weight pair and retire the lightweight ones to hiking.

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Theatre Summer 2015

A little late to posting summer, and I’d forgotten until tonight when I logged my latest play. I’ve been experimenting with written little short blurbs about the plays in my DayOne journal. Not reviews, just reactions. Those are linked after the entry for each one, but only since I started. Three Shakespeare this season, and another in fall!


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Getting around… with a knee scooter

Cross-post from my Getting Around Sacramento blog: Getting around… with a knee scooter.

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